Friday, July 31, 2009

REVIEW :: Captain Britain & MI13

Well Captain Britain and MI13 has come to a close … and I’m sad.

I don’t know if you had a chance to read it, but the comic — Marvel’s British-flavored super team series — did not deserve to die.

Of course, I hear many fans of canceled series say the same thing; although, honestly, most of the comics floating around the industry that get cut truly do suck. (Spider-Girl anyone? I’m just saying!) Captain Britain and MI13, however, was damned good.

The comic was that rare superhero book that didn’t focus on fight scenes that go nowhere and over-hyped characters — instead it reveled in witty dialogue and the development of smart stories.

Its last arc — which pitted the team against the legendary vampire Dracula and an army of the undead — was played out like an intricate game of chess. In this multi-issue tale, strategy was more important than things blowing up. That’s not to say that things didn’t blow up, but writer Paul Cornell forced you to pay attention to each move on his expansive battlefield — not just random acts of violence.

Yes, I will admit, the cast of MI13 (guys like the Black Knight, Pete Wisdom and Blade, among others) was far from a collection of A-list characters. Hell, it wouldn’t even be a stretch to call them lame. But if you read the book, you’d see they were utilized in ways they’d never been before. As the dust of the last issue clears, I’d go so far as to say that these heroes were left a lot cooler after the series than before.

At the very least, this comic brought Captain Britain’s “dead” wife Meggan back to the Marvel Universe … so those six Excalibur fans out there should be happy.

I’m not sure how much of this series will be collected in trade paperback, but hunt down the back issues for sure to enjoy this gone-too-soon series.

Carlton Hargro is Editor-In-Chief of Creative Loafing. You can read more of his writing at the magazine's Comic Proportions blog.

3 comments:

Daniel Von Egidy said...

Yeah, I'm gonna miss this book. These will be three really good collections though.

Ostrakos said...

I heard such good things about it I just picked up issues 1-14 and annual 1 on eBay for cheap. I'm looking forward to reading it.

Fool's Brigade said...

Capt. Britain was the rare, beloved comic that was also really good. I tried to read DC's much vaunted Manhunter, and quickly understood why it was always on the chopping block!